WITH just a bit more than three weeks to go until voters in Newport West go to the polls to select Paul Flynn's replacement, we now know the 11 - count 'em - candidates who are fighting the campaign.

Some were widely expected to be standing, some less so.


Newport West by-election to be held on April 4 following death of Paul Flynn

Full list of Newport West by-election candidates announced

Newport West MP Paul Flynn has died aged 84

Let’s deal with them one by one:

- Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party: Richard Suchorzewski

South Wales Argus:

The party is very much a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin outfit, and this may work in its favour at the ballot box. For his part, Mr Suchorzewski has made no secret about the fact that he knows he won't win the seat, but wants to use the attention being paid to the by-election to get the party's message out. Depending on your point of view, this is either refreshingly honest, or hijacking a by-election for cynical political means. Make your own judgement.

- Conservative: Matthew Evans

South Wales Argus:

Picture: christinsleyphotography.co.uk

On paper alone the thought of a Conservative MP representing Newport West seems, to say the very least, pretty unlikely. But Cllr Evans is a well-known and well-liked figure in the city who has 20 years as a councillor under his belt, four of which he spent as council leader. And disenchantment with Labour among a large part of the party's traditional supporter base could work in his favour. This may be the best chance the Conservatives have had since 1987 to get back the seat Paul Flynn stole.

- Democrats and Veterans Party: Phillip Taylor

South Wales Argus:

An unknown figure in the local political scene, we don't know where he stands on local issues, with the statement making only vague statements around the party's flagship policy of direct democracy. I've asked to meet with him, so hopefully we'll know more soon.

- For Britain: Hugh Nicklin

South Wales Argus:

They don't like being called far-right, describing themselves as "a positive, pro-British, pro-democracy party" dedicated to "preserving the culture and values of the decent British majority". Take a look at their policies and make up your own mind. For his part, Mr Nicklin appears to have no connection to Newport - but I've not had the chance to speak to him in person yet.

- Green: Amelia Womack

South Wales Argus:

The Greens are pretty active in campaigning in Gwent, and, unlike some of the other candidates, Ms Womack is at least from Newport. They don't have a great record at the ballot box, but maybe ever-growing concern about the impact of the M4 relief road could be just what they need to get a foothold.

- Labour: Ruth Jones

South Wales Argus:

The bookies’ favourite and, on paper, a shoe-in to win the seat. No-one ever really came close to unseating Paul Flynn in his 32 years as Newport West MP - a deciding factor in the by-election campaign will be how much of this was because he was Labour, and how much was because people knew him as a safe pair of hands. And Ms Jones doesn't have the name recognition that some of the other candidates do. Will this be Labour's undoing? Time will tell.

- Lib Dem: Ryan Jones

South Wales Argus:

Newport's Liberal Democrats largely disappeared from view when the party did following that coalition business, and never really re-emerged. But that was nearly 10 years ago - the by-election may show that voters are ready to forgive them. That said, Mr Jones isn't terribly well known outside the local party itself, so they have some work to do to build up recognition.

- Plaid Cymru: Jonathan Clark

South Wales Argus:

Picture: Plaid Cymru

Mr Clark is something of a veteran of election campaigns in Gwent, and Plaid are really putting resources behind him - even setting up a campaign headquarters slap-bang in the city centre, so they must have faith they could make gains. But Plaid have always struggled at the ballot box in Newport - if this work will pay off remains to be seen.

- Renew: June Davies

South Wales Argus:

One of the newer parties to emerge from the Brexit quagmire, and their anti-traditional politics rhetoric could well register with voters despairing at the utter mess in Westminster. They're putting the legwork in with campaigning, setting up their own city centre campaign office, but for many they, or Ms Davies herself, just won't have the name recognition.

- SDP: Ian McLean

South Wales Argus:

Although you might not have heard of them since the 1990s, they've been regularly running candidates in local elections in England for years, and last year gained an MEP when Patrick O'Flynn defected from Ukip. Again, Mr McLean doesn't have much name recognition, but his pro-Brexit and pro-M4 relief road position could win him some support - if he can get that message out.

- Ukip: Neil Hamilton

South Wales Argus:

Certainly the biggest name to be running in the by-election. He brings with him his own baggage and I know the local Ukip branch are annoyed he was selected over a local candidate. But, whatever you might think of him, he knows how to fight an election campaign. I suspect the amount of support he receives at the ballot box will depend upon events in Parliament this week. I’m writing this before the second meaningful vote on Tuesday evening, but, if Article 50 is delayed there’ll be a lot of anger on the part of leave voters – whatever has happened since, Newport West voted to leave, remember – and this could well benefit Mr Hamilton. Whether that will happen if we leave the EU as planned on March 29 remains to be seen. I certainly wouldn't count him out.

Those are your options. In normal times Labour would probably walk it. But these are very far from normal times.